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Surf Air makes flying special

Ibiza and many more locations on new private airline destination list for frustration-free flights.

Air travel in the past 10 to 15 years has been revolutionised. The advent of low-cost carriers has opened up many more destinations for many more people and more of us are now flying all over. Whilst this has facilitated easier travel, it has also facilitated frustration: long queues, frayed nerves, hot tempers – and all before you even step foot in an airport.

Travel was not supposed to be this way. And this is where brand-new, to European shores, all-you-can-fly private airline Surf Air comes in to bring us back to what it used to be like, something fun and exciting. I went along to review a return flight on Surf Air from Ibiza to London to experience a new golden age of travel. The excitement I felt inside was palpable: here was my chance to try air travel as it was meant to be.

Magical and marvellous

In the 1950s, flying was considered to be magical and marvellous. These were times when people would don their finery just to fly; they even posed for group photographs before getting on board as a souvenir. Flying back then felt like the ultimate VIP experience, because few people did it.

You may still think that an airline such as this, with its access to private jet terminals, is yet another VIP experience on Ibiza. Let me disabuse you of this notion. Given the excellent price point that the company offers, you can find yourself coming over to the White Isle as often as you like with just one set monthly fee that is far from excessive.

The service will be flying to many top European destinations too, like Cannes, Zurich, Geneva, and Milan, so if you are a frequent flyer for work, be nice to your boss. You might just get an excellent weekend perk to add to your regular business travel.

Reasonable monthly fee

You will get to rub shoulders with the great and the good in the private terminal, which is rather fun. Mainly, you will not have the prohibitive cost of maintaining your own private plane - not that many could. Instead, you get a slice of the good life for a monthly members' price so reasonable you will be crying tears of joy.

Arriving at the Ibiza Airport main terminal, I quizzed the taxi driver as to where I would need to walk. He apologised, he had taken me to the wrong place. We then drove the short distance to reach the positive quiet and tranquillity of the island's private air base. Think greenery, birds singing and a big thrill building inside me.

Instead of trying to locate where you need to go from a set of confusing screens, foreboding desks with rows of flustered people waiting to attend to you, the experience inside the terminal could not have been more different. It was incredibly relaxed and I felt my stress levels settling very much south of where they should be.

Frequent flyers' dream

A man just arriving to Ibiza on the Surf Air jet came into the terminal with his pet pooch just as we passengers were waiting to board. Having a home on Ibiza, this particular passenger routinely travels back and forth to the UK on a regular basis. He particularly liked the fact that there is no need for a fixed return travel date and added: ‘I've done so many late nights going to Gatwick: this is a much, much better way to do it.'

One of the best things for him was the airline's pet policy, noting to me: ‘I think it is an amazing service, since you can take dogs. That really sold me as we don't have to give ours tranquilisers to go into the hold. Surf Air is a very cost-effective way to bring your dog with you, humanely and in the cabin with you.'

The black, beautifully-stylish Surf Air planes carry eight passengers. You also get an on-board mini-bar to help yourself to plus you can sip your drink enjoying plenty of legroom. Gin and tonics, soft drinks, champagne, posh snacks – it's all there.

Having a blast

I may be an adult in his 40s; however, I am still like a five-year-old when it comes to take-off and landing. You can imagine my utter joy to be able to see clearly through the windows of both sides of the plane, as well as through the pilot's window at the front of the plane. The two and a half hours literally flew by. I met some great people and we talked all the way back, having a blast. Indeed, these flights are great for meeting people.

When we landed, we were met on the ground by the lovely Keyla. It was a quick whistle stop landing and a trip to the loo, after which she helped me locate my Uber.

Well, I had had a very relaxing weekend, and I was starting to feel concerned about the trip back, as one does. Then suddenly, I remembered that I was flying with Surf Air and I only needed to arrive 15-minutes before the plane took off. I didn't get there that late of course (though I could have done) and gave myself the luxury of a leisurely hour with which to enjoy the facilities of the private terminal at Luton Airport.

Laid back and smiling

Keyla's smiling face was one of the first things I saw when I arrived stress-free and contented at the terminal. She guided me into the peaceful airport lounge and I helped myself to coffee, croissants and some sparkling mineral water. Picking up a complementary newspaper, I sat back in the comfortable chair and breakfasted in the most laid-back manner imaginable.

Moments later, Keyla introduced one of my co-passengers, with whom I was about to take my return flight and make yet another new friendship. This co-passenger and now mate, Shan Phoenix is a wealth manager from London. For him the benefit of being able to jump on a flight with short notice is big for a hard-working and fun-loving individual like him.

I shall leave it Shan to give us the closing comment on this review of this excellent Californian import. ‘With the Surf Air membership, I plan to take many more short-haul trips; before all my holidays have been long-haul,' he smiled.

I'm going to be taking a lot more European holidays, now as I haven't really discovered the great places that are close to home; and, as I would have the same comforts as I would on a long-haul flight, flying upper class or first, it's just going to encourage me to discover what's around me, getting my friends involved too.'

I can't use words better than Shan's to motivate you to try this unique flying concept. My trip was glorious and I feel yours will be too.

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